Tag : backup

Apple Music is quietly deleteing songs form user drives

apple-fixes-users-folder-bug-with-itunes-update_1Alright, as a person that values her carefully selected music library, I was pretty surprised to hear that my biggest fear was coming to life. Some users are complaining that Apple Music has been quietly deleting songs from their hard drives. James Pinkstone, average user, noticed after implementing Apple Music, that many of his tracks were mysteriously missing. Anyone that has battled with the transition of CDs to the digital age, knows that burning tracks from CD to music library is a long and painful task. It takes time to manually import the tracks, and if you are like many that have already upgrade their machines to the latest edition, know that CD players alone are becoming obsolete. So come to find out that many if not all of the tracks that you have painstakingly imported are suddenly missing, without your permission, would be infuriating.

The official comment from Apple concerning this issue was that, “the software is working as intended”. As intended! Apparently it intends to “clean up” user song content no matter if it has permission to or not. Not comforting. Pinkstone thought perhaps his songs would be made available through the cloud, but that was quickly determinded to not be the case. Luckily for Pinkstone, he has everything backed up. Take that Apple!

What to do if you suspect Malware? We have the answers

Most often one does not know that they are infected with Malware until it is indefinitely too late. A few signs can lead you too believe you might be infected, such as incredibly slow PC performance, browser pop-ups when no browser is open, and security warnings from security programs that have never been installed on your computer, can make you feel uneasy about your machine. Try these tools to kick Malware in the butt. malware-microsoft

Update Antivirus

The software IDs within antivirus software identify existing malware based on what has come before and the latest updates available. Make sure your antivirus software is current, with all of the latest installs. Having software that is even one day out of date leaves your machine at risk for encryption. Antivirus vendors offer updates based on viruses they encounter both in the lab and in the field.

Find Safe Mode

Most malware, when designed correctly, is ready to evade System Restore points set in Windows. Perhaps this might be enough to fix the problem, but say that its not, as it most likely won’t be, try running a program designed to kill any known malware process in progress, such as RKill. The other option in this case is to boot Windows in a way that will not allow malware to get started, aka Safe Mode. By first restarting your PC (Windows 8 or 10), hold down the shift key during the boot sequence, and choose Safe Mode within the troubleshooting options.

Delete Hiding Places

You should then delete all temp files that could hide malware. To delete temp files, open the Start menu, type Disk Cleanup into the search bar and it will check the C:drive for all temp files that can be safely deleted. The software IDs within antivirus software identify existing malware based on what has come before and the latest updates available. Make sure your antivirus software is current, with all of the latest installs. Having software that is even one day out of date leaves your machine at risk for encryption. Antivirus vendors offer updates based on viruses they encounter both in the lab and in the field. After this process it is advised that you run an antivirus on-demand scanner, such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. This program is a great line of second defense against malware because it often comes to the rescue if your initial antivirus fails.

No Connection

A RAT, means that someone is remotely accessing your PC. Your first step in this case is to get off the internet. Turn off the Wi-Fi, remove the Ethernet cable, turn off the router, whatever needs to be done in order to detach from the internet. Now, being disconnected from the internet ensures that you are no longer able to be controlled, but it makes it a great deal harder to receive the latest antivirus without access to the internet. The latest software will need to be retrieved from a third party PC, at a different location preferably, then transferred to the RAT PC via USB flash drive. Another option would be to reboot the computer with a CD. Running a full anti-malware utility, these CDs are sometimes called “rescue CD” and can be used without internet connection. Of course, in order to use this option, a CD player will be necessary.

Portable Help

If all other options have failed, it may be the Operating System that has already been infected, making it impossible to even download the newest antivirus software. In order avoid the OS and let the antivirus do its job, you will need to utilize portable apps through a USB flash drive. These portable apps do not require a direct installation. Apps like this consist of Microsoft Safety Scanner, CLamWin, McAfee Stinger, or Kaspersky Security Scan. You can also try a mix of many portable apps since they will not conflict as you have to run each scan individually. There are also other software options such as Spybot and Symantec’s Norton Power Eraser that specifically target a type of malware called crimeware, that run scams. Although this is measure is aggressive, and often times deletes files that might not be malware, all in the effort of safety of course.


 

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: How to Remove Malware From Your PC

5 New Tech Tested Products for Your Business

Ever wondered what the best in tech products are at this very moment? The experts at Network World weigh in and give us a little glimpse of the newest innovations on the market.

Vidder PrecisionAccess – By rendering applications invisible to unauthorized users PrecisionAccess does a fantastic job at preventing application hacking. Even with stolen credentials hackers can’t access protected applications with unauthorized devices.precision-vpn_clip_image002

VeloCloud SD-WAN – VeloCloud provides a hybrid WAN solution that works with MPLS private links as well as ATT-U-Verse with cable or any broadband DSL links. One tech pro reported an increase from almost zero network visibility to nearly 100% network visibility. A great tool for IT management across multiple locations without staff needing to be onsite at all times. Facilitates communication and network visibility.  velocloudlogo

Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) – With so many features that help with managing user-facing ports and devices, whats not to love about Cisco ISE. One huge factor reported by tech pros is the integration of TACACS within Cisco ISE, making it easy to run Cisco ISE as a Radius server or TACACS server for network devices. In addition to this, Cisco ISE significantly improves management of devices especially restricting machines from devices and sites they are not permitted to visit.Cisco_ISE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intermedia SecuriSync – For backup and file sharing SecuriSync is the way to go. As a two-in-one tool for consolidated file backup and management of continuous file backups, Intermedia SecuriSync makes relevant files easier to access as they are all stored in a secured shared folder. If you have team members spread across different locations, this tool is very helpful in making sure the data is always backed up and kept secure. One platform with a master source keeps project collaboration as safe as it can be.securisync-logo-247x300

OpenSpan Transformation Platform – OpenSpan collects all employee desktop activities both productive and nonproductive, including time away from the computer. This platform allows businesses to evaluate from employee activities how employees work best and what can be improved upon in order to drive down operational costs and maximize revenue. Providing data about employee activities takes away the need for manual employee logs. Lack of employee logs that need to be analyzed by supervisors for key performance indicators (KPIs), such as call volumes, proves to be a huge time saver. OpenSpan Transformation Platform takes working smarter to a higher level.

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If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Fave Raves: 29 tech pros share their favorite IT products 

Ransomware

 

Ransomware Malware Ransomware is the devilish and extremely debilitating program designed to lock and encrypt files in order to extort money from consumers, business owners, and even government officials. It seems that no one is safe in the fight against ransomware. Most ransomware programs are targeted at the most popular operating system, Windows. Ransomware programs can and will target other systems such as Android applications, Mac OS X and possibly even smart TVs in the near future. Not only is this an unsettling forecast for consumers, but also a call to action for preventative measures to protect your most important data files.

What can be done? Most users have learned the hard way that it is better to back up sensitive data to an external hard drive. However, this type of malware is tuned in to this. When a ransomware program infiltrates a computer, it infects all accessible drives and shared networks, encrypting all files found. This makes for a very irritating discovery of locked data across the board.

Rather than rely on the external hard drive method for backups, it is suggested that consumers adopt a new best practice. Ensure at least three copies of sensitive data are made, and stored in two different formats. At least one of these copies should be stored off-site or offline. This way if ransomware locks files away consumers are not forced into a sticky situation of deciding whether to risk paying for the data retrieval or losing the data forever.

What to do when faced with ransomware? Not much can be done once ransomware has attacked. Most security researchers advise not paying for files to be unlocked, as there is no guarantee that the hackers will provide the deception key once paid. Security vendors also worry about the implications for fueling the fire. The more consumers give in and pay for the safe return of their data, the further encouraged ransomware criminals become to continue this practice of extortion.

If I haven’t said it enough already, I will say it again. Prevention is key. Know how ransomware reaches your computer. Be especially careful of email attachments, word documents with macro code, and malicious advertisements. Always keep the software on your computer up to date. It is especially important to ensure that OS, browsers such as Flash Player, Adobe Reader, and Java are always updated when available. Unless you have verified the senders, never enable the execution of macros in documents. Finally and most importantly, perform daily activities from a limited user account rather than an administrative one. And always, always, utilize a well running and up to date antivirus program.

If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about material presented in this blog post please visit:

http://www.pcworld.com/article/3041001/security/five-things-you-need-to-know-about-ransomware.html

Using Windows to Back Up and Restore Exchange Data

Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 comes equiped with a plug-in so users can back up and restore your Exchange databases. For all of the tips, tricks, and how-to’s please visit Microsoft’s link here. This plug-in allows users to enable Windows Server Backup to create the Exchange-aware VSS backups. Do you still have Exchange 2010? Not to worry, they will explain the steps for the 2010 version as well.

Symantec Introduces Backup Exec 3600 Appliance

Symantec has recently release a backup exec appliance called the Symantec Backup Exec 3600 Appliance.  Here are some specifications.

  • It is an all-in-one solution pre-packaged with Backup Exec 2010
  • Includes 5.5 TB of useable disk space.
  • Unlimited software licensing to protect 5.5 TB of disk storage.
  • You can protect an unlimited number of servers and applications both physical and virtual.
  • Web based management console.
  • It includes RAID 5 data drives, mirrored SSDs for the OS, redundant power supplies and battery backup on the RAID controller.

I have yet to first hand see this product in action but it does sound like a pretty neat little box. This appears to me to be a more enterprise level backup solution as the price tag MSRP is around $25,000 dollars, but it packs quite a punch for such a small device.

I tried to demo this but Symantec will not actually send you a demo product. I probably wouldn’t either for the cost of one of the devices.

Form Factor 1U
CPU Quad Intel Xeon 2.4 Ghz CPU
Memory 16GB DDR RAM
OS Windows 2008 R2 Embedded
Security OS Hardened At Factory with Symantec Critical System Protection
Data Storage 2 X 40GB SSD Disks for OS (RAID 1)
4 X 2 TB SATA Disks (RAID 5)
5.5TB of Useable Deduplication Storage Capacity
Disk Management Onboard Hardware RAID 5 controller
I/O One 1Gb Ethernet port (1 additional port dedicated for Appliance Management)
Other I/O Ports One FE management network port / Two USB 2.0 ports

Personal Cloud: WD My Book Live

Backup, backup, backup. Most of us rely on our computing technology for our work, home, and play to keep our data easily accessible. We’ve all experienced it, we’re working and all of a sudden our computer crashes, the hard drive goes bad, or the files we need becomes corrupted and guess what? There’s no backup! What do to now besides cry? We at BVA believe keeping a backup, whether daily or weekly is very important because you never know when something will go wrong. There are all kinds of backup solutions out there for businesses, from tape, disk, or even in the cloud. But not only do businesses need to keep backing up their files, but we as individuals with our personal data should keep backups. I backup my hard drive daily so that I always have the ability to back and grab a file, maybe I changed something and realized I need the original, or the disk I had a file on goes bad and I need to grab a different copy. I just found this new hard drive from Western Digital called My Book Live – WD 2go. This is Western Digital personal cloud storage device that gives you your own cloud hard drive so you can access your data where ever you are. Usually when we talk about cloud storage we generally refer to a service you purchase from some company and they store your data somewhere at their datacenter. With this new Western Digital device you can have your own personal 3TB of storage. The device rest on your personal network and you can access it anywhere. The WD 2go has fee-free remote access to your My Book Live to your computer. Another cool feature are the apps you can install on your smartphone or tablet that will give you access to your files stored on your My Book Live as well. So wherever you go, your files are just a click away.

Unlimited Backup!

Backup’s are extremely critical for individuals and organizations to have in place. One solution I’ve found to be not only extremely cheap and affordable for any user, but also extremely safe and reliable is known as BackBlaze, a $4 dollar per month service that provides unlimited storage, end to end encryption, and integrates seamlessly with both mac and window’s based environments. Not only is this solution a great for anyone, it’s also extremely easy to use and setup, accessible anywhere through their easy to use website, and automatically keep’s itself in sync providing you reports of job success’s and failure’s.

Features Include:

  • Unlimited Storage
  • External Drive Support
  • Military-Grade Encryption
  • Continuous Backup
  • Automatically Finds Files
  • Automatic Throttle
  • Locate Computer
  • Free Web Restore
  • Restore to USB Hard Drive
  • Restore to Flash Drive
  • File versioning
  • 11 Languages

Dropbox

One of my favorite apps that I use daily on my computer and iphone is called Dropbox. Do you want to be able to access your files from anywhere you are? Computer, web, phone, and or tablet? Dropbox is a cool app that allows you to do this seamlessly by simply installing the app on your computer, or your smartphone. Dropbox is cloud service that basically backs up any changes you make to a file no matter which device you’re using to access the file.

Features include:
• 2GB of Dropbox for free, with subscriptions up to 100GB available.
• Your files are always available from the secure Dropbox website.
• Dropbox works with Windows, Mac, Linux, iPad, iPhone, Android and BlackBerry.
• Works even when offline. You always have your files, whether or not you have a connection.
• Dropbox transfers just the parts of a file that change (not the whole thing).
•Manually set bandwidth limits — Dropbox won’t hog your connection.

Another cool feature is file sharing. You can share folders and thereby documents so if you need to collaborate with someone, you all have access to the same file. Never be without your files again.